Break the sacred macaron of victory out of its fortress transportation case, and tell the yobidashi to apply a fresh coat of paint, for senshuraku is upon us, and the final disposition of many trophies, awards and honors shall be decided as the sumo world looks on.
Once again, lksumo has done a masterful job of teeing up what’s at stake for the tournament’s next and final day. In addition to all of the permutations for yusho, promotion and demotion, there are a fair number of koshis left to be decided. That makes for a number of high-stakes win-or-else matches on the final day, which will likely culminate in the highest stake san’yaku bouts and possibly a playoff for the cup.
A reminder that NHK World will have Grand Sumo Live starting at 2:30 AM US Eastern time, 11:30 PM Pacific to bring you the final 90 minutes of the tournament, including at least a half hour of speeches, trophies and celebrations.
What We Are Watching Day 15
Kotoshogiku (M9e) vs Meisei (M15w) – As lksumo pointed out, the Kyushu Bulldozer has been the crusher of Makuuchi dreams this tournament. I would guess the winner gets a special prize, and the loser gets a bowl of chanko. As a bonus, this is their first ever match, so there is a fair chance that Meisei will get to enjoy the hug-n-chug for the first time.
Ikioi vs (M8e) vs Chiyomaru (M16w) – Walking contusion Ikioi goes up against the bulbous Chiyomaru, whom he has never beaten in five tries. Someone has a bit of a mean streak, it seems, and I predict Ikioi will retire to the nearest onsen shortly afterwards to ease his aches.
Daiamami (M15e) vs Asanoyama (M5w) – Daiamami needs to take a white star from the already make-koshi Asanoyama to keep from riding the ferry back to Juryo. Sadly, Asanoyama has a 5-3 advantage over Daiamami.
Aoiyama (M12e) vs Yoshikaze (M4w) – Yoshikaze comes to this match 7-7, with this result deciding his winning or losing record for November. Aoiyama is looking quite genki in the second week, and is probably looking forward to having the compact Yoshikaze to bat around. They are evenly matched 9-11 for their career, but this November, Aoiyama looks stronger. Good luck berserker!
Tochiozan (M2e) vs Shodai (M4e) – The other Maegashira 4 also decides his his koshi today. He holds a 3-1 career advantage over Tochiozan, who has lost his drive in week 2. We are hoping for some solid cartoon sumo from Shodai, and a chance to remain in the top of Maegashira ranks.
Myogiryu (M1e) vs Chiyotairyu (M5e) – Darwin match, both are 7-7. Only one will emerge kachi, the other make-koshi. Myogiryu has looked focused and strong in his past two matches, and will need to stay mobile against the overwhelming up-front strength of Chiyotairyu. Their career record is 5-5. Chiyotairyu will try to blast him into pieces at the tachiai, so if Myogiryu can survive that, it’s game on.
Takakeisho (K1e) vs Nishikigi (M3e) – Already examined well in the earlier mentioned post, but Nishikigi has been full of surprises. With Takakeisho this genki, it may seem like a foregone conclusion, but I choose to keep an open mind and let events unfold as they will. [Not betting to eat anything unwise? –PinkMawashi]
Mitakeumi (S1e) vs Takayasu (O1w) – Does Mitakeumi have anything left in the tank? He has shown he can beat Takayasu, but it’s not a common event (4-10). A win for Takayasu could seal his first ever yusho, and there would be talk about his future as an eventual Yokozuna.